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Phosphorus availability and microbial respiration across different tundra vegetation types
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. (Arcum)
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
2012 (English)In: Biogeochemistry, ISSN 0168-2563, E-ISSN 1573-515X, Vol. 108, no 1-3, 429-445 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Phosphorus (P) is an important nutrient in tundra ecosystems that co-limits or in some cases limits primary production. The availability of P is largely driven by soil characteristics, e.g., pH, organic carbon, and abundance of P-sorbing elements such as aluminium (Al) or iron (Fe). We tested how vegetation and soil properties relate to P availability across different tundra vegetation types. The different soil P fractions in the organic horizon were measured and plant foliar nitrogen (N) to P ratio and a plant bioassay was used as indicators of plant nutrient status. Microbial bioassays were used to study microbial respiration kinetics and in response to carbon, N, and P amendments. The distribution of P fractions differed significantly across vegetation types; labile fractions of P were less abundant in meadow sites compared to heath sites. Calcium-phosphates seemed to be an important P-fraction in meadows, but were only found in lower concentrations in the heath. There were only small differences in NaOH–extractable P between the vegetation types and this correlated with the distribution of oxalate-extractable Al. Plant N:P ratios and the plant bioassay indicated decreasing P availability from dry heath to mesic heath to mesic meadow. The microbial bioassay suggests that the heterotrophic microbial community is C-limited with N as a secondary limiting nutrient although there were indications that microbial P availability was lower in the meadow sites. Overall, we suggest that the observed variations in soil P across vegetation types are affecting both plant and microbial function although the differences seem to be relatively small.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 108, no 1-3, 429-445 p.
Keyword [en]
Phosphorus availability, Subarctic tundra, Hedley fractionation, Soil respiration, N:P ratio
National Category
Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-46291DOI: 10.1007/s10533-011-9609-8OAI: diva2:437574
Available from: 2011-08-30 Created: 2011-08-30 Last updated: 2016-05-17Bibliographically approved

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Giesler, ReinerEsberg, Camilla
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